MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:28 p.m.) — Three days into the New Year, the country's coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caseload hit 477,807 Sunday after the Department of Health logged another 891 confirmed infections.
In its latest case bulletin issued Sunday afternoon, the Department of Health also recorded 8,316 more recoveries and 4 more casualties linked to the virus, bringing the pathogen's death toll in the country to 9,257 or 1.94% of total cases.
This brings total recoveries to 448,258, good for a 93.8% recovery rate.
Among the total cases, exactly 20,292—or 4.2%—are marked as active cases, referring to patients who have neither recovered nor passed away and are still recovering in hospitals or quarantine facilities.
The following areas posted the most number of cases per the health department's latest bulletin:
- Davao City with 65 new cases
- Rizal with 55 more infections
- Isabela with 50 new cases
- City of Manila with 40 more infections
- Quezon City with 37 new cases
The country's positivity rate based on reports from noon of January 2 stands at 5.8% after 675 of the 11,705 tests conducted turned out positive.
The DOH added that around 89.1% of cases are mild and asymptomatic, though this is down from 90.7% at the end of 2020. Additionally, 6.7% of recorded cases, the DOH said, are critical and 3.6% are severe.
"The Department of Health has noted a decrease in the number of cases reported today, at 896 cases. This is due to a decrease in the number of patients seen in COVID-19 laboratories during the New Year," the department said in its message for the day.
"The DOH reminds the public to be cautious in interpreting these numbers as an increase in cases in the coming weeks is still possible. The DOH continues to assess the extent of the effects of the holiday season on COVID-19 transmission," it added, urging the public to "be vigilant in guarding against complacency."
According to figures from business data platform Statista, the Philippines still sits among the bottom five in coronavirus tests conducted among the most impacted countries worldwide.
Authorities have warned of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases during and after the holidays, which can be further complicated should the new variant of the virus first recorded in the United Kingdom enter the country.
Coronavirus cases have once again been on the incline over the past few days with the reopening of several laboratories that shut down over the holidays, which led to artificially deflated numbers.
Around the world, over 84.9 million cases of the new pathogen have been recorded, leading to 1.8 million deaths according to the latest data from the World Health Organization.
Over the past nine months of community quarantine in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has asserted that achieving herd immunity through vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic for the country moving forward.
He has, however, not seen anything wrong with Cabinet members and presidential security staff taking unapproved coronavirus vaccines ahead of their scheduled priority slot in a time when the Palace said healthcare workers would be inoculated first.
It has been 292 days since enhanced community quarantine was hoisted over parts of mainland Luzon, and the Philippines is still under the world's longest quarantine.
— FrancoLuna with reports from Xave Gregorio
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